MercyMe and Friends at the Black River Coliseum

Sep 14, 2007

There’s a powerful Texas wind sweeping the land, and it’s leaving a trail of pure, unadulterated joy in its wake. Next stop: Poplar Bluff, Missouri!

Now’s the time to grab your tickets to a star-studded night of contemporary Christian musical praise here in the Bluff. On Friday, September 28 from 7:30 pm, the Dove Award-winning, Grammy-nominated, multi-platinum powerhouse MercyMe will be rocking the Black River Coliseum, along with special guests Shane & Shane and Monk & Neagle.

Come experience MercyMe right where you live—hear the band whose rock-and-pop-infused sound is searing through boundaries, spreading a message of hope beyond the traditional frontiers of Christian radio.

MercyMe, whose roots can be traced to Greenville, TX, has taken the Christian music scene by storm with the chart-topping singles “I Can Only Imagine”, “Spoken For”, “Homesick”, and “So Long, Self”. So widespread is their appeal that MercyMe tunes are making an unprecedented impact in mainstream radio as well. Now the group is touring in the run-up to the November 20 release of “All That Is In Me”, their potent follow-up to the well-received “Coming Up To Breathe” CD.

Dallas-based special guests Shane & Shane have built up an ardent following with such earlier works as the highly successful “Carry Away”, and have just released their eagerly-awaited “Pages” CD after a three-year break from studio recording. “Pages”—the title refers to guitarist/vocalist Shane Barnard’s personal journal—takes listeners on a journey through the largely-acoustic duo’s thought processes as they re-examine their own relationship with God. Here, they note their fears and shortcomings, yet suggest continual rebirth in the promise of freedom through faith. The CD’s rousing single, “We Love You, Jesus” is destined to become an anthem heard, sung, and picked out on beat-up old guitars across the country.

Monk & Neagle, whose act originated in Amarillo, are two solid up-and-comers whose second release, “The Twenty-First Time”, is due out this month. They’re joining MercyMe on their fall tour, and will be bringing their own easy harmonies and fresh acoustic stylings to the praise-fest at the Coliseum. Those familiar with their earlier, self-titled CD will note recurring themes in their well-crafted songs, which include inspiration drawn from their married lives, and making real the Christian commitment to personal transformation. This last is demonstrated beautifully in the new CD’s thought-provoking title track, where the storyteller has again pretended not to notice a person in need, even after twenty previous encounters.

Brian Becker, owner of, attended a MercyMe concert in November of 2006. “MercyMe has such a great sound,” he recalls. “They are one of the rare bands that sound even better live than they do on their CDs. [Lead singer] Bart Millard’s voice is among my top favorite male voices, along with Sting, Kenny Loggins, James Taylor, and Don Henley.”

Nine-year-old Ben Becker has this to say about MercyMe’s “Coming Up To Breathe” concert in St. Louis last fall: “It was awesome! I’ve never been to a better concert!” And, from 6-year-old brother Jack: “It rocked, they rolled, and I liked it!”

Catch the liberating autumn wind blowing up from the Lone Star State. Make a family trek down to the Black River Coliseum on September 28, and become part of the unforgettable experience that is MercyMe and Friends.

Tickets are available at the Black River Coliseum, or online through TicketMaster.